Some business consultants might advise me to avoid speaking about real life issues because they might distract from the lovely vintage fantasy I want to present; however, I want to be honest and show that behind the scenes is as important as what happens in front of the customer. In these times, it is difficult to avoid that subject of all horrible subjects, Covid.
After over 2 years of lockdown and pandemic pandemonium, this week I was finally brought to my knees by this vicious virus. I say ‘brought to my knees’ because I imagine Covid as some sort of assassin who crept up behind me, shot me in the back, rendering me weak and shivering in my bed. Yes, I have had the chance to watch endless TV but I don’t remember feeling this incapacitated before and I really haven’t enjoyed losing all my get up and go. Even as I write this, I know that I will lose my energy rapidly and just about find the will to upload the blog with a sense of having achieved one thing today.
Therefore, I wanted to write about Covid to highlight the difficulties faced by the small business owner when floored by illness. Currently, 1 in 16 people in the UK have Covid. For some people it is nothing more than a positive Covid test, for others, like me, it is a dose of the worst flu. Lucky for me, I had already completed most of the baking and my husband knows how to make sandwiches. I have a supportive family and supportive neighbours. My husband Mike, despite working all week, fulfilled last weekend’s tea deliveries. My daughter took time away from her Dad’s house to help and various neighbours have supplied me with healthy soup and many, many offers of help.
I am of course extremely grateful, and Mike did a great job with great reviews. While Mother's Day was a washout for me, it was the perfect treat for our customers. Without Mike, I would have had to let down my customers thus affecting my good reputation. By the skin of my teeth, the day was saved. The reputation of a small business is so reliant on word of mouth. We don’t have the advantage of hundreds of employees and we cannot absorb the cost of lost business. Everything we do comes from a very small resource base. We have to be strong and resilient in mind, body and spirit. In other words, small businesses are very personal. They offer the personal touch and that’s what makes small business special. So, when you meet someone making their own product, writing their own social media, or telling you about their passion, please give them as much support as you can even if it’s just to let someone else know about them.
Meanwhile, I’m on the mend and looking forward to delivering a crockery hire for a belated Mother's Day tea this weekend and we'll be back at Ripley Farmer's Market again on the 9th April. We will be adding crumpets and teacakes to our tea menu and don't forget you can buy loose leaf tea from us and order our teaboxes in advance. We look forward to seeing you there.